Award acceptance

Have you received an award contract?

Contact us early so we can support you from the start.

If you have secured funding from a UK research council, charity, commercial body or government agency, you will require a contract or award letter. In most cases this will be issued by the funder and sent directly to Research Division.

If you receive a contract or award letter directly, notify the Research Development Team - call us on 020 7106 1202 or email

The Research Development Team will arrange contract signature and help you navigate your way through the process. Only the School's authorised signatories can sign off the contract of award letter.

Issues to include in a contract:

  • the right to publish academic work
  • ownership of the ideas
  • related intellectual property
  • the risk and cost of the work 

Negotiating your award contract

During the early phase, state what you want to achieve from the project and what you wish to retain at the end of it. While you may be offered a set contract from a funding body, you can ask Research Division for LSE's own standard research contract templates. We can adapt the templates to fit your project.

To discuss the options available contact your grant applications manager.

Collaborating with a research partner

A collaboration agreement is required for work involving at least one other research partner. It sets out the responsibilities, role and rights of collaborating parties working on a specific research project or set of projects. All parties will be bound by the same terms and conditions, and the agreement typically sets out how the overall project will be managed between the parties.

An agreement is drawn up following a joint award/research funding agreement. The terms of your main award are reflected in the collaboration agreement.

The agreement may also contain funding terms, for example, a transfer of funding from the lead partner to the other collaborators, or the transfer of additional funding from a commercial partner.  It is important that this is set up before the project start date.

To discuss a collaboration agreement, liaise with the Research Development Team.

Sub-contractors and outsourcing

At the proposal stage, consider if work needs to be sub-contracted or outsourced.

A sub-contract may be required and standard templates are available for use.  Liaise with the Research Development Team to ensure this is set up before the project start date. 

Contract amendment

A project may need to be amended once your research has started. Any extensions to a project will need to be discussed directly with the sponsor and the Research Awards Team as soon as possible.

For issues regarding budget allocation, contact the Research Awards Team. Associated contracts will need to be amended to reflect such changes.

For contract amendments, contact the Research Development Team on

Contract signature

Research Division will negotiate any contracts and arrange for a contract signature on your behalf. LSE may not commit to a contract until it has been agreed and signed by the authorised signatory in accordance with LSE financial regulations.

Contract considerations

Publication rights

The corner stone of academic research is the right to publicly disseminate the outcomes of the research. While there may be delays or publication restrictions (for example, confidentiality, the patenting process, or arrangements with the collaborators), LSE always seeks to protect this fundamental right in its research agreements.

This right to publish is also linked to the institution's academic mission and how it classifies its research activity. Any onerous restrictions need to be carefully considered from an academic perspective and also whether the activity itself may be defined as research. 

Intellectual property (IP)

Intellectual property (IP) is a key consideration and often the most contentious issue in an agreement. LSE will always try to ensure the rights of academics are protected with regard to the future use of their IP and the potential use of any new IP generated from a project. 

To request an exchange in IP ownership, contact the Research Development Team who will assist in this negotiation and ensure that any project undertaken is advantageous to both the academic and the institution.

Transfer of an existing grant

Grants and contracts may be transferred when a researcher moves to another institution. For projects governed by contracts (e.g. industry funded, government department funded), the contract is usually terminated and a new contract negotiated with the institution to which the project will transfer.

For awards made by research councils, charities and other grant making bodies the funding body will usually transfer the unspent portion of the funding. The institution releasing the grant and the institution receiving the funding must provide written agreement to the relevant funding body.

Contact the Research Development Team who will coordinate this process for you.

Announcing new awards on Twitter

All new awards are announced on our Twitter pages. Principal investigators who wish to opt out should contact their grant applications manager. Follow @LSE_RD


Further guidance